ASK FATHER: Can we eat meat today, Friday, Feast of the Sacred Heart or must we abstain?

A couple people have asked today about Friday abstinence from meat.

Canon 1251 of the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church says:

Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Today, 11 June 2021 is…

a) a Friday,
b) the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and as such
c) a Solemnity (N.O. calendar – 1st Class TLM), and therefore
d) NOT a day for obligatory abstinence from meat, etc.

Some printed trad calendars not withstanding, we go by the Code of Canon Law.  And that’s the Code as it is now, not as it was or as we think it ought to be.


If you want to eat meat today, you can do so with a light heart, even if it goes straight to your left anterior descending.

If you don’t want to eat meat today, you can abstain with a light heart, even if it is vegan.

Obligatory abstinence on such a joyful feast as today is seems contrary to our Catholic identity.

I think I’ll be a “glad trad” today and have a cheeseburger for lunch.  Perhaps Culver’s.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Julia_Augusta says:

    I thought it was a day of abstinence. All I ate was salad. I guess I’m wrong. It seems to me that fasting and abstinence today to make reparation for the insults and coldness to the Sacred Heart, would be especially appropriate.

  2. acardnal says:

    Julia, Get a calendar from TAN Books. They list all the feast days in the OF and EF or NO and TLM. And they explain what days require penance and abstinence.

    As a TLM devotee, I agree with Fr. Z. Holy Mother Church wants us to celebrate Solemnities and one way we can do so is to eat a nice, juicy, grilled ribeye today!

  3. Kenneth Wolfe says:

    One can also feast on 38 of the 40 days of Lent, and all the Ember Days, if he chooses too!

  4. Paul says:

    Father, did you go to Culver’s? Hope you ordered fries also. Hope it was also a Diet coke! Regular coke would not be good for you. A diet Dr Pepper would be better, not a woke soda in my opinion if they offered it.
    God Bless you everyday.
    Pray for you daily.

  5. Kent Wendler says:

    A double bacon butter burger value basket, with one of their soups subbing for the fries. Plus Culver’s makes their own root beer, diet if you must.

    The pot roast sandwich is pretty good too, with horseradish sauce.

    (We’re having leftover lamb shanks for supper. Lamb seems appropriate, somehow.)

  6. Sportsfan says:

    You couldn’t have posted this yesterday?

  7. Rod Halvorsen says:

    I appreciate the SSPX and FSSP approach which is to clearly state the binding 1983 Code and then also provide the previous law for those who want to follow that since one may and still remain obedient to the current law.

    [No. The SSPX and FSSP do NOT “provide the previous law”. They have no authority to legislate anything. No.]

  8. P. N says:

    This is a perfect example of pick-and-choose “traditionalism”. You completely miss and/or disregard the true meaning, i.e. the penitential and expiatory character of the Feast of the Sacred Heart. What do you think, why this feast is on Friday. Why the Gospel for this feast is John 19?

    But, of course, CIC 1983… so much for tradition.

  9. P. N says: pick-and-choose

    No, this is a matter of personal responsibility. The Church’s law is what it is. You are not obliged to eat meat on the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

    As far as John 19 is concerned, there is also a dimension of indescribable joy that must pervade the heart of a Christian in reading or hearing about the act of our redemption. Gravity? Of course. Joy? How not. But balanced Catholics can hold both of those in a proper balance.

    Contemplate what the word “feast” means, and 1st class at that.

  10. Hb says:

    We had a beautiful Solemn TLM with the Litany of the Sacred Heart, the Act of Reparation and Benediction at the Philadelphia Carmel. Packed House – very encouraging.

    Yes, I enjoyed a meatball sandwich for dinner?

  11. P. N says:

    “Contemplate what the word “feast” means, and 1st class at that.“

    Oh, I didn’t know the word “feast” means “Eat meat!” (and in this particular case “Eat first class meat!”)

    I always thought it etymologically means “dedicated to God”.

  12. Now you are just trying to be difficult.

Comments are closed.